A lesson in determination

Students undergo long, snowy journey to get to school

China Daily | Updated: 2024-03-09 13:33
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A convoy of students winds their way across a dramatic snowy landscape from Xihexiu town, Yecheng county, Kashgar prefecture in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, to their primary school. HU HUHU/MA JIABING/FOR CHINA DAILY

Deep in the Karakorum Mountains, 165 students from Xihexiu town in Yecheng county, Kashgar prefecture, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, embarked on a challenging journey over snowcapped peaks to reach school for the new semester, which started for them, this year, on Feb 22.

Escorted by local authorities and police to ensure safe passage, the convoy of 45 vehicles took more than five hours to traverse the 60 kilometers from the last pickup spot to arrive at the town's central primary school.

He Haidong, deputy director of Yecheng's traffic police department, and his colleagues inspected the eight buses for the mission, to make sure they were in working order. "This semester actually kicked off on Feb 13, but we had to delay the schedule of picking up students due to heavy snow," says He, who has taken on this task for eight consecutive years.

He adds that police inspect the road a week in advance to make sure it is navigable, and drivers must be experienced and familiar with mountainous areas. Local authorities also deployed snowblowers to clear the route.

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